California

Bill & Hiroko’s: Upholding Burger Heritage in Van Nuys

By Joshua Lurie | June 14, 2010 5 comments
Bill & Hiroko’s: Upholding Burger Heritage in Van Nuys
Bill & Hiroko’s
14742 Oxnard Street
Van Nuys, CA 91411
818 785 4086

Hamburgers Los Angeles
When people think of Van Nuys, the airport undoubtedly comes to mind, and probably the gargantuan Budweiser plant located near the 405. However, from now on, when anybody mentions Van Nuys, my mind will inevitably conjure images of sizzling hamburgers. The man responsible for this mental imprint is Bill Elwell, who opened his classic burger stand in 1965. Wife Hiroko Wilcox now helps him run his weekday-only burger destination, but Elwell still grills every burger.

Hamburgers Los Angeles
On the register, a sign makes it clear that “You can’t have it your way. This is not Burger King!!” The streamlined wall-mounted menu features burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches that top out at $4.45, including tax.

Hamburgers Los Angeles
Each pre-formed patty is char-grilled on a sizzling flat-top.

Hamburger Los Angeles
Elwell cradles each burger into a grilled bun with mayo, fresh tomato and lettuce. Regulars know to add grilled onions, crispy bacon strips and American cheese slices. On the side, your only option is ridged potato chips, which are included.

Seating options are pretty straightforward. Relax on the back patio or sit at the L-shaped counter and watch Elwell in action.

Related Categories: California, Hamburger Hut, Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Southern California

Comments

  1. LH says:

    You can’t “char-grill” on what looks like a gas fueled flat-top. You need charcoal to char-grill. Looks like they just cook it on a flat-top. No shame in that, Apple Pan does the same.

    • Joshua Lurie says:

      LH,

      That’s a good point about my use of the term “char.” I always associated the term with the char that forms on the outside of the patty. It makes sense that it refers to charcoal. I’ll use the term differently from now on. Thanks.

  2. carter says:

    funny, I have lived within 2-3 miles of this place for over 20 years, and have NEVER even seen or heard of it, and I am on that street frequently enough.
    I sure hope it is a better burger than the one I ate yesterday at Blue Dog in Sherman Oaks. That was really sad.

  3. mattatouille says:

    Next time I’m in the valley, I’m definitely here. And I’m surprisingly in the valley more often than I like.

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